Social Media for School and Departmental Promotion

Version Number

3.1

Implementation Date

24/07/2015

Scope

Applies to Queensland state schools and other state educational institutions, Regional and District Offices and other units of the Department of Education and Training.

Purpose

​To ensure that all online communications made on behalf of the Department of Education and Training (DET) using social media are consistent with the department’s procedures and policies as well as applicable laws concerning privacy and copyright.​​​​

Overview

Not Applicable

Responsibilities

School staff: 

  • refer to the DET Code of Conduct Standard of Practice
  • establish an official school social media presence or site only when instructed to do so by the principal
  • contact Community Engagement and Partnerships (CEP) to discuss the establishment and creation of new accounts.

 Principals: 

  • contact CEP to discuss the establishment and creation of new accounts
  • refer to the DET Standard of Practice 
  • approve the establishment of social media accounts for your school
  • complete the State School checklist for the establishment of social media
  • ensure that any official school social media presence or site is managed and updated by school staff. Non-school staff are not permitted to establish or maintain social media accounts on behalf of a school
  • approve all content (may be delegated). 

 Parents and Citizens' Associations (P&C): 

  • consult with the school principal to arrange promotion of the P&C via the school's social media presence.

 School Councils: 

  • consult with the school principal to arrange promotion of the P&C via the school's social media presence.

 Departmental staff who are not Directors: 

  • refer all requests to establish a social media presence and approvals to your Director or Executive Director
  • contact CEP to discuss the establishment and creation of new accounts
  • prepare a General Briefing Note seeking the Director-General’s approval for a new or established, but not already approved social media presence or site. 

Executive Directors, Directors, Regional Directors, Assistant Directors-General, Deputy Directors-General and Associate Directors-General: 

  • ensure that the information and intended audience for the proposed account isn’t already covered by existing DET social media accounts 
  • refer all non-school based requests for a new or non-approved established social media site to Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships for advice
  • endorse a General Briefing Note seeking the Director-General’s approval for a new or non-approved established social media presence or site
  • complete the Departmental checklist for the establishment of social media.

 Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships: 

  • provide advice to senior executives and other departmental staff on requests for social media sites
  • ensure that the information for proposed account isn’t better suited to the existing DET social media accounts
  • ensure the intended audience isn’t covered by existing DET social media accounts
  • provide advice to Principals, P&C and school staff on policy issues.

 Director-General: 

  • consider requests for a new or established non-school social media presence or site and authorise if appropriate.

Process

Account/s
Principals / Executive Directors, Directors, Regional Directors, Assistant Directors-General, Deputy Directors-General and Associate Directors-General:
Before the account is established, the resources required to monitor, update and moderate social media websites should be seriously considered. Social media is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week medium. Social media accounts like Facebook need to be monitored after hours, on weekends and on holidays. You will need to consider how staff will be compensated for their time out of hours.

Social Media sites should be established for the entire school not for separate classes, areas or events like fetes, anniversaries or campaigns.

Consider if there truly is a need for you to establish an account.  Is your audience the same as DET corporate accounts? If so, capitalise on the established audience instead of starting without any followers.

Before establishing a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account complete the appropriate checklist. 

When establishing an account, departmental units or schools must sign up as a government department using the Government Terms of Use (if available). For schools, the approved school-based administrator must ensure that when establishing a social media site it is not linked to personal pages, sites or information. Parents should not establish, monitor or administrate pages for schools. CEP requires all social media accounts contain certain information and have high security settings. CEP provides a free service establishing social media accounts on behalf of schools and approved departmental areas. 

Departmental or school information is to be used when establishing the account and a generic email address should also be used that can be accessed by a range of people. If the initiative has a specific end date this should be clearly stated in the information or notes.

Once your account has been approved by the principal or Director-General (see Responsibilities) Community Engagement and Partnerships must be emailed the following information: 

  • ​login and password
  • the account’s purpose 
  • officers authorised to access the account. 

Administrator/s

Schools principals:
Nominate one or more staff members to administer the site. Administrators should respect the privacy of individuals who choose to follow / like the social media account. 

 

Executive Directors / Directors:
The administrator for a departmental account should be nominated by the Director/ Executive Director of the requesting area. This information is to be included in the General Briefing Note requesting approval to establish a social media site. Administrators should respect the privacy of individuals who choose to follow / like the social media account.


Allegations of harm
In the instance of an allegation of harm or possible harm being caused against a student via the conduct of an employee arising from a social media issue, account or profile, supervisors should reference the Allegations Against Employees in the Area of Student Protection​ procedure and refer matters to the Ethical Standards Unit for assessment and consideration. The guidelines contained within the procedure will assist individuals to determine the most appropriate referral type. Should you require clarification or assistance please call the Complaints Management Team on 3055 2950 for advice.


Comments and discussions
​​​Social media is a two-way conversation and administrators must be prepared to allow individuals to comment and post to the page. Even if an administrator decides to turn off the Facebook post setting, individuals are still able to comment underneath posts.

The Department of Education and Training Acceptable use guidelines are to be made easily available for individuals accessing the Facebook page in the ‘Notes’ section. The intent of these guidelines is to ensure individuals are able to contribute views to the page or site without being exposed to inappropriate content, offensive language or discriminatory views. All comments are to be moderated by the administrator in a timely manner.


Community Pages
Facebook auto-generates 'community and business pages' for Queensland state schools from information provided on Facebook profiles and posts. Information is also taken from Wikipedia and other sources, and displayed on community pages. Schools should monitor these pages as comments from personal accounts can be pulled onto community pages. Schools should request individuals remove these posts if they are offensive, derogatory or incorrect.

Facebook places this statement on the Community Pages:

"Description above from the Wikipedia article Smith State High School, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors here. Community Pages are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, anyone associated with the topic."

Schools have the option of posting the following statement on the Community Page:

Facebook automatically generates community pages for Queensland state schools including (INSERT SCHOOL NAME IN FULL) which are not administered by the department. The information on this page may be incorrect and may misrepresent the views of the school, students or staff. The department will not be legally responsible for any loss or damage arising from the publication of any information on these pages or reliance on it.

 

Fans, friends or following
Administrators: 
​​Departmental pages or sites should not follow any businesses, political parties or religious organisations and due care must be taken when following individuals. 

When caretaker period is in place contact the Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships for advice on the Caretaker Guidelines.  


Profanity block list
Administrators:
In the settings section of the Facebook account, the profanity block list should be on 'Strong'. A range of words can also be added to the 'Moderation blocklist'. Contact CEP for the most up-to-date list.


Name squatting
Administrators:
Social media sites reclaim accounts if they are inactive for an extended period of time (in most cases 6 months). It is recommended schools and departmental areas do not create accounts unless they are prepared to update them on a regular basis.


Posts
Principal /Executive Director or Director
Approve and check that the information in posts is suitable for release to the public and does not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.

Do not post any material* that: 

  • is racist, hateful, defamatory, libellous, derogatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, discriminatory or humiliating to another person or organisation
  • is pornographic or contains nudity 
  • vilifies individuals based on their religion, gender, race or sexuality 
  • contains material (written, audio, video and other electronic forms) that infringes Intellectual Property rights such as copyright
  • contains personal information about another individual without their consent (including identifying information, email addresses, phone numbers or private addresses)
  • falsely represents another individual, organisation, government or entity 
  • infers endorsement of a product, business, company or organisation 
  • promotes a product, business, company or organisation 
  • is a statement that may interfere with or prejudice the course of or otherwise deals with civil or criminal proceedings that are presently before any court, tribunal, commission or similar body or any investigation by the police, Crime and Corruption Commission or other agency. 

* Material includes text, photos, graphics, account names/usernames and account images/profile pictures.


Profile pictures and profile design
Profile pictures should be the Queensland Government or school logo, departmental initiatives approved design or suitable image. The designated images should be included with the General Briefing Note (if required).

School Websites
Schools should ensure that their websites are regularly updated so individuals without social media accounts can access relevant and up-to-date information.

Uploading images, information, podcasts or videos
Schools should not post images or recordings of students including copyright materials without specific parental consent. To obtain parental or guardian consent schools should use the department’s consent forms which are part of the Obtaining and managing student and individual consent procedure.

Administrators should ensure that photos are appropriate, not tagged and disparaging comments are not placed underneath.  Schools must not use image hosting sites or apps such as Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Picasa, Image Shack or the like as informed consent cannot be obtained from parents, carers or guardians. Before uploading content schools will need to check they have correct consent and that the content does not infringe copyright laws. To assist individuals with visual or hearing disabilities, title images, videos or photos with a descriptor or correct departmental initiative title should be used.

Online Resources

Review Date

9/10/2016
Attribution CC BY

Administrators
The administrator/s are the approved individual/s who maintain social media accounts on behalf of the school or department. Administrators cannot be parents, community members or P&C members; they must be departmental employees. 

Comments
Comments are placed under posts by individuals with Facebook accounts, these cannot be blocked but may be hidden as Spam.

Community Pages
Facebook auto-generates 'community and business pages' for state schools from information provided on Facebook profiles and posts. Information is also taken from Wikipedia and other sources and displayed on community pages.  This content is not able to be moderated and in some cases may not be accurate.

Posts
Posts refer to information placed on social media pages by the account administrator.

Spam
Facebook will hide comments by account holders deemed as inappropriate. Administrators may also mark posts as Spam.

Student harm 
See Allegations against employees in the area of student protection process.